target is an educational initiative that aims to give nurses a greater scientific understanding of targeted therapies including immunotherapy and other novel agents. The course addresses the clinically applicable aspects of caring for patients on targeted therapies, in particular treatment indications, special nursing considerations, patient education, side effect prevention and management. An objective of the course is to provide nurses with a platform to share and discuss how they can disseminate the learning from target back into clinical practice and patient care.

What topics does a target course cover?

A Pre-Course module allows all course participants a chance to learn on an equal basis. This module covers precision medicine, cell biology, mechanism of tumor development, the immune system, targeted therapies, clinical trials.

The course book covers:

  • The biology and hallmarks of cancer as well as the molecular biology
  • The specific molecules or pathways utilised in targeted therapy
  • Mechanism of action and clinical use of targeted therapies and immunotherapy
  • Prevention & management of unique side effects
  • Nursing considerations associated with targeted therapies & immunotherapy
  • Patient education & assessment throughout targeted therapy treatment
  • How to support nursing practice in response to new targeted therapies.

How does the target course meet nurses’ educational needs?

The medical oncology field continues to rapidly evolve, offering patients much more therapeutic options in both the curative and advanced cancer setting. Nursing practice needs to adapt and respond to the opportunities and challenges associated with novel targeted therapies used in the clinical setting. Regardless of where one works, whether in larger university hospitals or private oncology practices, targeted therapies are used for a wide range of tumours with drugs such as monoclonal antibodies (including immunotherapy), oral tyrosine kinase inhibitors in combination therapy with standard chemotherapy.

This new edition of target has been developed to give nurses a better understanding of the characteristics associated with cancer development and how targeted therapies have improved patient outcomes by inhibiting or manipulating these oncogenic characteristics (Hanahan & Weinberg 2011). Emphasis on nursing practice and patient support throughout treatment remain the main focus of the target programme.

The policy of multipharma support allows the content of the target material to be not only generally applicable to all targeted therapies, but also neutral in its presentation. Nurses are involved with all drugs, all tumour entities, all patients and all health economic situations. It is the goal of EONS to give its member societies sufficient information and educational support to be able to meet the continually growing demands of the oncology health sector.

Offering a target course through your society, interest group or institution, you will be giving nurses one of the best possible courses to understand this dynamically growing treatment area and will give them the knowledge to improve care and support for patients and their caregivers.

Who should I contact to get further information about target?

Please contact the target coordinator, Rudi Briké, at EONS:

The third edition of the target programme will be available shortly on request; please check this page regularly.

This update has been made possible by Amgen, Bayer, Merck, Novartis, Roche, Takeda and MSD.